How Easily Can Your AC Adapt to Summer Heat Waves?

Summers in the Coastal Bend are getting hotter every year. It’s important to be able to keep cool, but what happens to your HVAC system in extreme temperatures? Here’s a look at how your AC responds to heat waves and how to maximize its efficiency.

HVAC Efficiency

Your AC’s efficiency is represented by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or the SEER rating, which measures how much cooling your unit is able to produce for the amount of energy it uses in a given cooling season. ACs sold in Texas must have a SEER rating of at least 14, according to the Department of Energy.

The amount of cooling produced by your system is based on the difference in temperature between the outside air and your refrigerant. Cooling is provided by both your compressor and your heat exchanger. The higher the temperature, the more work that is done by the compressor, which uses more energy than the heat exchanger. Therefore, heat waves can cause your system to work harder (and even overload) over time.

Improving Efficiency

You can’t control how hot it gets outside. However, there are other factors you can control, which can help your system operate more efficiently, even through a series of heat waves.

Make sure your airflow is optimal. Check your ductwork for leaks, and change your air filter regularly to ensure air can flow unimpeded from your system to your home. The more air your system loses along the way, the harder it has to work to reach your ideal comfort level.

You might also consider a home-energy audit. Your HVAC technician can locate the places in your house where air is leaking out or energy is otherwise being wasted and then fix them.

Finally, always remember to schedule your annual HVAC maintenance visit. By examining your system regularly, your technician can see how hard it’s working to keep you cool, fix minor issues before they become bigger problems and make sure the system continues operating at peak efficiency, regardless of the weather.

For more help dealing with heat waves, contact us at CCAC. We keep Corpus Christi cool and comfortable.

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    David Mathewst David Mathews is the owner of CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating. A Corpus Christi native... More »